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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Compelling moments of collaboration : a reading of the works by Fukazawa Shichiro Kanada, Chizu


This thesis is a study of the narrative strategies in the fiction of Fukazawa Shichirō (1914-87) and the ways in which these strategies work to solicit involvement in a compelling reading experience. The role of the narrator in each of the stories I discuss proves to be critical in the establishment of this relationship. And while I examine the thematic implications further enhanced by this solicitation, I have chosen to focus on how each story through its narrator produces those thematic messages. My emphasis on each work's technical aspect is also a deliberate, compensatory move, a reaction against the tendency of Japanese critics who slight the process of reading as a determining factor in their evaluation of Fukazawa's works. Little effort has been made to account for the construction of each work, and thus credit is rarely given for an immediate or enjoyable experience while reading. Thus, I have explored the neglected aspect of Fukazawa's fiction which, I believe, is one of the most commendable of his writings' achievements. I have primarily dealt with one story per chapter, although I have frequent recourse to other works by Fukazawa and other writers, and have selected four stories which I believe best capture the essence of Fukazawa's narrative craftsmanship. Each story's center of consciousness--the third person narrators in the subjects of study of Chapters One and Two, respectively, "On the Melodies of Oak Mountain" and The Fuefuki River, and the first person narrator-protagonists of "A Dream Tale (Chapter Three) and "The Dolls of Michinoku" (Chapter Four)--asks its reader to participate in a complex and distinct negotiation. And yet, despite all the variety one expects and finds in works spanning a thirty year writing career, I will contend that in each of the four stories above certain strategies are consistently used to initiate reader involvement and thus invite us to co-produce those compelling moments that Fukazawa would have us enjoy.

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